TV networks should be encouraged by the ad forecasts presented this morning at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference. Global spending on the medium will grow 7.7% in 2014, up from 1.8% this year, Magna Global EVP Vincent Letang says, In the U.S., broadcast TV will benefit most from the mid-term elections and Winter Olympics. Spending will increase 9.3%, in contrast to this year’s 5.7% drop. Cable will be +7.8% vs. +4.4% in 2013. Much of the growth will come from technology and telecom companies as they introduce game consoles and gadgets — but auto and pharmaceutical spending will rise. Entertainment, however, will be down in 2014, due in part to efforts by studios to trim their release slates. Political spending likely will be about a third higher than it was in 2010 at $3B, Letang says. He also expects about $600M in spending around the Winter Olympics. Generally speaking “television and digital media are sharing the eyeballs and dollars that print and radio are losing,” Letang says.
USA Network has set a midseason schedule, which includes drama Suits returning to Thursdays to lead into new comedy Sirens, USA’s first original half-hour comedy in a long time. White Collar also will air on Thursdays, while Psych‘s eighth season, expected to be the hourlong comedy’s last, will air on Wednesdays. The midseason premiere of Suits will be on Thursday, March 6 at 9 PM, followed by the debut of medical comedy Sirens, executive produced by Denis Leary, at 10 PM. (trailer below) Sirens will launch with two back-to-back episodes before switching to a single episode at 10 PM the following week, paired with a Modern Family repeat at 10:30 PM. Suits started on Thursday before moving to Tuesday. White Collar will start things off on Thursday, returning on hiatus on January 9, paired with Law & Order: SVU reruns. Season 8 of Psych will air on on Wednesdays, beginning on January 8. It is somewhat surprising that USA chose a drama, Suits, instead of a comedy like Psych or Modern Family as a lead-in for new comedy Sirens. “As a top cable drama, Suits has a massive and incredibly young audience that is the perfect fit for fans of Denis Leary and Bob Fisher’s unique brand of comedy,” said Jackie de Crinis, executive vice president of original programming, USA Network. “Both series feature dynamic male leads, sharp and entertaining banter, and a strong storytelling point of …
A few weeks after American and Dutch researchers found that violence in PG-13 films has now exceeded R-rated levels, the Parents Television Council has come up with a violence scorecard for broadcast vs cable. In a new study (read it: here), the PTC says, “The volume and degree of violent content shown on broadcast and cable television are virtually indistinguishable,” and that broadcast TV shows “consistently underrated graphically-violent content as appropriate for 14-year-old children, even though similar content on the cable networks was rated for mature audiences only.” The PTC is especially concerned with NBC’s Revolution, which, it says, contained an average 91.5 acts of violence per episode over four installments considered.
Among cable shows included in the study were American Horror Story, The Walking Dead, Sons Of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Copper, Justified, and Bullet In The Face. They were compared with broadcast dramas like Criminal Minds, Revolution, The Blacklist, Supernatural, Sleepy Hollow, CSI, and Law & Order: SVU. According to the findings, 37% of all graphic violence in the study aired on broadcast.
About a year ago, the watchdog blasted ABC’s Scandal for what it termed a “brutal” torture scene during an episode that was rated TV-14. At the time, PTC president Tim Winter argued, “It …
Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love, the backup singers who get the spotlight in RADiUS-TWC‘s Oscar documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, will sing the National Anthem at the 100th Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day 2014. The special performance during the Stanford-Michigan State game marks the first time in a century that one of the Rose Bowl participants’ band is not performing the “Star-Spangled Banner.” That’s about the flashiest PR stunt conceivable for this year’s heated Oscar docu race, and shrewd timing – nominations voting ends just a week later on January 8.
The history of special effects and CG in film and their close relationship with today’s top-notch digital animation is the focus of author Christopher Finch’s new lavish 368-page book The CG Story: Computer Generated Animation and Special Effects, which peels the curtain back on CG pioneers like George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and Pixar founders John Lasseter and Ed Catmull and their respective contributions to film. As part of Deadline’s weekend programming, read an exclusive excerpt from The CG Story, available now via The Monacelli Press ($75), detailing the near-disaster that almost was when the upstarts at Pixar pacted with Disney to make their first feature: Toy Story.
Go motion may have been extinct overnight, as if by a meteor bombardment, but Phil Tippet reinvented himself as the head of a CG studio, and many of his go-motion animators were quick to retrain as CG animators, adapting their old skills with relative ease to the new way of working. During the early 1990s the shift to computer-generated animation was seen as a matter of urgency in many sections of the industry. Technologies such as motion control remained in use where they were cost effective, but this was the period when CGI began to take on the dominant role in visual effects. In the world of pure animation, it was about to make its mark with even greater decisiveness.
Ed Catmull explains that at Pixar there was a plan to progress from making commercials to producing a television special and then eventually a feature film. Having developed the CAPS system for Disney, Pixar had extensive contact with the feature-animation department there, but in fact they shopped their ideas around to everyone but Disney. One bone of contention was the fact that Disney had made efforts to hire John Lasseter away from the company. Jeffrey Katzenberg, then Disney studio head, had been impressed by the shorts he had seen and was convinced that Lasseter, by then Pixar’s creative director, was the secret to the company’s success. Lasseter, however, turned down the offers because of his belief in Pixar’s future, and because of his bitter memories of his previous tenure at Disney. Those memories were also why he had been adamant about not wanting to take ideas to Disney. “It wasn’t until [then],” Catmull remembers, “that I found out the real problem. For years he wouldn’t let anybody know he’d been fired… On the Queen Mary he had acknowledged that his project had been turned down, but not that he had been fired.”
The fact that Disney now saw Lasseter as a golden boy did nothing to alter his point of view, but finally, after no other studio had taken the bait, Pixar had no alternative but to consider working with Disney. The initial approach, in fact, came from Disney. In 1991 Catmull received a call from Peter Schneider, president of Feature Animation, suggesting that Pixar make a CG feature that Disney would finance and distribute. It should be remembered that Disney’s animation renaissance was in full bloom at the time — Aladdin would shortly be released and The Lion King was in preproduction. Disney Feature Animation had always been a strictly in-house operation, and the idea of turning to an outside production studio, especially in those glory days, was shocking.
3rd UPDATE, 5:17 PM: The funeral for Nelson Mandela is scheduled for December 15 but at least one network will have its anchor on the ground in South Africa days beforehand. Brian Williams will anchor the NBC Nightly News from Pretoria starting on Monday, then network’s Lester Holt announced on Sunday’s broadcast. A memorial for the former South Africa president will be held in Johannesburg on Tuesday withPresident Obama and the First Lady among those in attendance. Unlike Williams, Diane Sawyer is set right now to remain in NYC to helm ABC’s World News Tonight, the network says. Though sources do indicate that could change in the next few days. CBS have not yet announced their plans.
Related: R.I.P. Nelson Mandela
2nd UPDATE, Dec. 6 PM: Instead of The Rachel Maddow Show tonight at 9PM, MSNBC are going to air a Headliners and Legends: Nelson Mandela special in the slot.
Catch up on Deadline’s best film stories of the week:
Emerging Star Gal Gadot Set To Play Wonder Woman In ‘Batman Vs. Superman’
By Mike Fleming Jr. – Warner Bros and Zack Snyder have found their Wonder Woman. They’ve cast Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot in the iconic role and she will be part of Batman Vs. Superman, the film that will see Henry Cavill square off with Ben Affleck.
Paul Walker’s Manager Matt Luber Looks Back On 18 Years Growing Up Together
By Mike Fleming Jr. – EXCLUSIVE: When they help build a Hollywood star career, agents and managers know it can all end in a moment. That usually comes in the form of a phone call, informing them that client has dropped them for another rep. While that is hard to bear, I have been imagining how much worse it has been for Luber Rocklin Entertainment’s Matt Luber. His 18-year run with Paul Walker ended with a Saturday phone call as Luber and his daughter were leaving a sports bar to attend a college football game in Phoenix. That is when Luber learned that Walker had died instantly at age 40 in a tragic car crash.
Ben Affleck On Playing Batman, And How Not To Accept An Academy Award
By Mike Fleming Jr. – For Playboy’s 60th anniversary issue, the magazine needed an iconic subject for the Playboy Interview, and I hit the lottery. I got to talk with actor-writer-director-producer Ben Affleck about his life and the remarkable second act that he wrote for himself as writer-director of Gone Baby Gone and The Town, which culminated in the Best Picture Oscar for Argo.
It’s time for ad companies to release their year-end forecasts, and ZenithOptimedia is out today with a bullish one – largely tied to big increases it expects for ads on smartphones and tablets. It projects global spending in 2014 to hit $532B – a 5.3% increase vs this year which is +3.6% from 2012. (The new projection is up slightly from the company’s forecast in September for spending to grow 5.1% in 2014.) The Winter Olympics and mid-term elections should propel spending in North America 4.6% from this year’s $166.9B, which is +3.3% vs 2012. But mobile is the big story. The medium “is now the main driver of global adspend growth,” it says. “This is the first time in the past 20 years that a new platform is expanding overall media consumption without cannibalizing any of the other media platforms.” By 2016 mobile should become the fourth largest ad medium, ahead of radio, outdoor and magazines, ZenithOptimedia says. This is the first time the company also has made some three-year projections. It says that global spending on mobile will hit $45.4B in 2016, up from $13.5B this year. In the U.S. ad sales for mobile display will increase 239.4% by 2016 to $6.4B. Smartphone penetration will grow to 77.3% from 54% in 2013, while 37.1% will own tablets, up from 23.8%. Over the same period, global ad sales on television will increase by $29.8B, but its market share will slip to 39.3% …
The BBC has let loose an interactive trailer for the upcoming 3rd series of Sherlock. It includes goodies in the form of onscreen messages – reminiscent of the series’ use of flashing texts – that when clicked upon, delve deeper into what’s in store. This is the most revealing look so far at the upcoming season of the detecitve series that stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. The new installments begin airing in the UK on BBC One on January 1st and follow in the U.S. on PBS on January 19th. Have fun below with the new clues:
When Sandra Bullock won the best actress Oscar for The Blind Side three years ago, her position as the number-one female movie star on the planet was secure. But after all the box office and awards success, Bullock was very careful about what projects she chose to do next. Eschewing the easy route of another romantic comedy after her supporting role in 2011’s Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Bullock took on the role of Dr. Ryan Stone, a novice astronaut stranded in space and struggling to survive in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. At its core, the film is not your average sci-fi blockbuster, but rather an intimate look at summoning the will to go on.
AwardsLine: They created something called the light box for this, a really isolating contraption. What was it like in there?
Sandra Bullock: It was literally a 9- by 9-foot box that was elevated on a platform. On one side, there were black curtains where all the technical geniuses were sitting, and there was a long track in the center. You know the (robot) arms that make the cars in Detroit? They were these massive things with the camera on them. There was a metal harness that I had to get up through that clamped around my waist. It was timed mechanically with the camera, so it would turn my body, and the camera was then spinning, and I had to figure out, “Am I upside down? Or am I right side up?”
Boston Film Critics Spring For ’12 Years A Slave’ As Dissenter Lobbies Against WWII-Set Miyazaki Toon ‘The Wind Rises’
The Boston Society of Film Critics went big for Steve McQueen‘s slavery drama 12 Years A Slave today, awarding the Fox Searchlight Oscar contender three end-of-year awards including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Best Director. Meanwhile, Best Animated Film honors went to Hayao Miyazaki‘s acclaimed WWII-era love story The Wind Rises – but not without vocal opposition from Village Voice critic Inkoo Kang. “Miyazaki’s film is wholly symptomatic of Japan’s postwar attitude toward its history, which is an acknowledgement of the terribleness of war and a willful refusal to acknowledge its country’s role in that terribleness,” read a portion of a statement Kang recited aloud during the vote. “To me, the fact that the film glosses over the true purpose of those planes — and never mentions the fact that those planes were built by Chinese and Korean slave labor — is morally egregious.” The film has earned vocal criticism within Japan for romanticizing the nation’s war industry during WWII. Kang explained to Deadline why she took a public stand against the pic, which is also eyeing the Oscars: “I decided to give the speech at the Boston Society of Film Critics meeting because I felt that too few American critics lent sufficient consideration to the glaring moral blind spots in Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises. The film shouldn’t just be viewed as a harmless portrait of an idealist, but in the context of a postwar mainstream Japanese culture that refuses to examine — and in some egregious cases, admit to — its war crimes.” Check out the 2013 Boston film critics winners below.
UPDATED, 2:35 PM: The LA Film Critics Association held its annual end-of year awards vote today, handing Best Picture to WB pics Gravity and Her in one of multiple ties. The big surprise of the day went down as Best Supporting Actor award resulted in a tie between Oscar contender Jared Leto (Dallas Buyers Club) and James Franco (Spring Breakers). Also tying for LAFCA honors were Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos for Blue Is the Warmest Color, while Nebraska‘s Bruce Dern was named Best Actor and Alfonso Cuaron beat Spike Jonze for Best Director.
Scroll down for full winners.
BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM: Blue Is the Warmest Color
Runner-up: The Great Beauty
BEST PICTURE (tie): Gravity and Her
BEST ACTRESS (tie): Cate Blanchett, Blue Jasmine and Adèle Exarchopoulos, Blue Is the Warmest Color
BEST SCREENPLAY: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her
BEST ACTOR: Bruce Dern, Nebraska
Runner-up: Chiwetel Ejiofor, 12 Years a Slave
BEST DIRECTOR: Alfonso Cuarón, Gravity
Runner-up: Spike Jonze, Her
2013 British Independent Film Awards: ‘Metro Manila’ Best Film; Sean Ellis Best Director; Lindsay Duncan Best Actress; James McAvoy Best Actor; More
UPDATED: 3:05 PM: The UK’s Foreign Language Oscar entry, Metro Manila, had the biggest haul at tonight’s British Independent Film Awards, nabbing three prizes including Best Film, and Director for Sean Ellis. The Tagalog-language, Philippines-set drama centers on a poor farmer who moves his family to the capital city in search of a better life, only to unwittingly become mixed up with a criminal underworld after he takes a job as an armored transport driver. In May, Deadline reported that Fox International Productions had acquired remake rights to the Sundance Audience Award winner. Also tonight, James McAvoy was named Best Actor for Jon S. Baird’s Filth, a crime comedy based on the novel by Irvine Welsh. Lindsay Duncan was Best Actress for Roger Michell’s Le Week-End and Imogen Poots took the Best Supporting Actress prize for The Look Of Love. Although it had eight nominations coming into the evening, David Mackenzie’s prison drama Starred Up went home with only one when Ben Mendelsohn scooped the Best Supporting Actor trophy.
The BIFAs were held tonight at London’s Old Billingsgate Market where the ceremony is somewhat akin to the Golden Globes in that a dinner precedes the awards (it’s sponsored by champagne house Moët & Chandon). Host James Nesbitt early on commented the BIFAs are “’better than BAFTA, …
BOX OFFICE THUMBNAIL: Out of the Furnace (wide after opening Wednesday in four theaters) looks weak. Inside Llewyn Davis (opened limited in four) is very strong. Thor: The Dark World surpasses $600 million this past week. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Frozen both headed to $30 million weekends.
4th UPDATE, SUNDAY 11:00 AM:
Walt Disney’s Frozen and Lionsgate’s power franchise Hunger Games: Catching Fire warmed the box office this weekend as most of the nation was under a deep freeze. Traditionally, also, the weekend after Thanksgiving is slow and percentage drop-offs were not unexpected.
Frozen, driven by family-friendly Saturdays, was able to leapfrog over Catching Fire – early estimates had them in a dead heat going into the weekend. Frozen won the weekend with an estimated $31.6 million-plus take (a $134.2 million cume) in a box office weekend that had business suffer from moviegoers not wanting to venture out into biting temps. It’s per screen was around $8,400 in 3,742 locations and it saw a 126% jump from Friday to Saturday. This is the film’s second week out.
Catching Fire is estimated around $27.6 million for the 3-day for a total cume of about $336.7 million domestically (per screen of $6,486 in 4,163 theaters). The film, in its third weekend, was down anywhere from 63% to 67% from a week earlier, but its Friday to Saturday jump this was roughly 53%. Last weekend, Lionsgate over-estimated on its domestic gross, but this week they seem to be more in line with general consensus.
Internationally, the female-driven franchise is in 83 markets and has taken in around $44.3 million this weekend, which brings its international total – oddly enough – to the same $336.7 million tally for a total worldwide cume of $673.4 million, according to its distributor.
Lionsgate also noted that the film is playing in the number one spot in India (where it opened this weekend) as well as Australia, Mexico, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, and Belgium. So, the other 76 territories it is playing in, it is not number one, but with numbers like this … who cares. The film will open in Japan on December 27, rounding out its bows around the world.
CBS Films is crowing over the huge per screen numbers for the Coen brothers movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, which with ticket sales tallying at an estimated $402,000 is about $100,500 per screen. CBS smartly added theaters on Saturday after sellouts on Friday. For news about this film, WeinsteinCo’s Philomena (no. 9 in the box office top ten with roughly $2.82 million) and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom ($19,000-plus per screen), Fox Searchlight’s 12 Years a Slave, Focus Features’ Dallas Buyers Club (which rounded out the box office top ten with $1.5 million), see Brian Brooks’ Specialty Box Office Story.
It was predictable that Inside Llewyn Davis would rule over the Specialty Box Office this weekend, but the question mark was how big the numbers would be for the CBS Films release. Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen and starring Oscar Isaac, folk music drama grossed a spectacular $402K in four theaters, giving the feature a knock out $100,500 per screen average. Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine opened slightly higher earlier this year with a $102,011 PSA, but the weekend’s numbers far outpace the Coens’ previous non-studio release A Serious Man, which had a $41,890 PSA from 6 theaters when it opened in October, 2009. CBS Films reported that the Cannes Grand Prix winner bowed Friday with a $123,340 gross, jumping 29% on Saturday to $159,324. It is estimating a 25% drop for Sunday to $119,336.
Noted CBS Films Sunday morning touting Llewyn Davis‘ numbers: “Looking at the past decade (and excluding the El Capitan live show premium) this puts Inside Llewyn Davis in the #7 slot for PSA on opening weekend. Above There Will Be Blood in two locations ($95,370 PSA) and Midnight In Paris in six locations ($99,834 PSA).” Inside Llewyn Davis will expand December 20 but will remain in limited runs before going nationwide in January.
“As excited as we were to get the film back in February and with the reviews and award at Cannes,” said Steven Friedlander, EVP, Theatrical Distribution at CBS Films Sunday. “There’s nothing that beats theater managers telling us about repeat sell out shows. We’re thrilled with the early word of mouth and look forward to weeks of fans finding themselves lost in funny, beautiful and completely unique world of the Coens.”
After hitting a season low among adults 18-49 (2.0) in the people meter markets and posting the second lowest result of the season in the metered markets households with its most recent original hosted by Josh Hutcherson, Saturday Night Live rebounded last night. The show hosted by Paul Rudd, with musical guest One Direction and a ton of unannounced guest stars, averaged a 4.9/12 in metered market households, up 20% vs. the last original and matching SNL‘s season high logged by the shows hosted by Lady Gaga and Kerry Washington.
In 18-49, last night’s episode drew a 2.5 in the 25 markets with Local People Meters, up 25% from the Josh Hutcherson show and two tenths below the season high posted by by the season premiere hosted by Tina Fey and the Miley Cyrus episode.
Host Paul Rudd and his Anchorman 2 cohorts Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, and David Koechner kept the promo train chugging along for Ron Burgundy’s December 18 return to screens last night on Saturday Night Live. First Anchorman 2 cast mate and former SNL grand dame Kristen Wiig lampooned NBC’s universally panned The Sound Of Music Live in a cold open featuring Dooneese, then the Anchorman 2 gang backed Rudd in a monologue face-off against boy band One Direction. They closed the show with a Bill Brasky sketch penned by Anchorman director/co-writer Adam McKay, reviving the character first created by Ferrell and McKay. Check out the Channel 4 News team moonlighting on SNL and other highlights below (opening monologue video not available):
Hit the jump for more video clips.
Édouard Molinaro, the prolific French director who helmed and co-wrote 1978′s La Cage Aux Folles, has died in Paris. He was 85. The Bordeaux-born filmmaker died of lung failure, reports the BBC. One of his best-known works was the comedy La Cage Aux Folles about a gay couple who attempt to play straight to impress their son’s future in-laws. Molinaro was Oscar-nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, sharing the latter with Francis Veber, Marcello Danon, and Jean Poiret. The pic adapted from Poiret’s stage play preceded two sequels, the first of which was helmed by Molinaro, as well as a Broadway musical based on Poiret’s original. Mike Nichols’ American remake The Birdcage opened at #1 in 1996 and starred Robin Williams and Nathan Lane with a Miami-set screenplay by Elaine May. For Molinaro, La Cage roughly marked the halfway point in a five-decade career during which he frequently directed some of the country’s biggest stars. Notable films include La Chasse A L’Homme (Male Hunt) starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and sisters Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac, Une Ravissante Idiote (A Ravishing Idiot) starring Brigitte Bardot and Anthony Perkins, Mon Oncle Benjamin (My Uncle Benjamin) starring Jacques Brel, and L’Emmerdeur starring Brel and Lino Ventura.
With box office momentum behind their wintry animated hit Frozen, Disney has released a clip featuring Best Song Oscar hopeful “Let It Go,” by songwriting team Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez. Idina Menzel belts the number voicing Elsa, the Snow Queen whose super powers put her kingdom in peril in the pic also starring Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, and Josh Gad: